Thomas Wandless, burglar (1880s-1910), East Coast
Thomas Wandless was a temporarily famous burglar between about 1900 and 1910. Apparently the son of John Thomas Wandless & Margaret Bennett of Brooklyn, New York, he robbed houses for years until he was shot while attempting a burglary and died a few weeks later in the hospital in Passaic, New Jersey. In between, he staged a dramatic escape from the Boston jail with the help of a young singer who he married while in jail, inherited a large sum of money from an aunt while in prison, and fathered a son with the singer, Mazie or May Coyle.


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Thomas Wandless, burglar, escapes from Boston Jail (the Journal's version)
Thomas Wandless, burglar, escapes from Boston Jail (the Journal's version)
Boston Journal, 15 Dec 1905: In this article, he is called Thomas Howard, having not yet told his jailers that his real name was Wandless. Very thorough article with map of jail, describes how he married Mazie Coyle in jail and how she passed him a saw with which to escape. Includes ruler to show the narrow gap through which he escaped after sawing open a few bars, and a drawing of Mazie. 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar, escapes from Boston Jail (the Globe's version)
Thomas Wandless, burglar, escapes from Boston Jail (the Globe's version)
Boston Globe, 15 Dec 1905: Very thorough article with map of jail, describes how Thomas Wandless married Mazie Coyle in jail and how she passed him a saw with which to escape  
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar - wife Mazie Coyle Howard (Wandless) acquitted
Thomas Wandless, burglar - wife Mazie Coyle Howard (Wandless) acquitted
March 31, 1906 - Boston - Jury acquits May Howard aka Mazie Coyle, wife of Charles Howard, who is really Thomas Wandless, to escape from the Boston jail. He testified that she did not supply the saw he used to escape, that he got it from his partner Edward Carr instead. She also denied bringing in the saw. She mentions that they got married because of "her condition" (she was pregnant) and that she thought "Tommy" was a traveling salesman.
 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar: wife Mazie/May Howard/Wandless speaks out after her acquittal
Thomas Wandless, burglar: wife Mazie/May Howard/Wandless speaks out after her acquittal
July 18, 1906 - Boston Post - May Howard, wife of Thomas Wandless, burglar, speaks about her relationship with her husband, after she is released from a one-month imprisonment after her acquittal. She intends to make her home with her mother, Mrs Christina Boitano, wife of George Boitano of 3 Hamilton street, New York, until her husband is released from prison in 4 or more years. He is only 23 years old. He spent time at the Elmira Reformatory after growing up in Roxbury and falling in with a bad element. 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar, alias Howard - infant son visits him in prison
Thomas Wandless, burglar, alias Howard - infant son visits him in prison
July 18, 1906 - Boston Post - Mazie Coyle now Howard brought his infant son to visit Thomas Howard who is really Thomas Wandless, while he is incarcerated in the Massachusetts State Prison. Mrs Howard and the baby will return to the home of the husband's mother, a wealthy New York woman. 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar, inherits $40,000 but has seven years to serve in jail at Charlestown State Prison
Thomas Wandless, burglar, inherits $40,000 but has seven years to serve in jail at Charlestown State Prison
I think this was dated March 1907, but I can't find the original to make sure. 
 
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1910: Thomas Wandless, burglar, is shot while entering a Passaic home
1910: Thomas Wandless, burglar, is shot while entering a Passaic home
 
 
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The Boston Globe discovers that Thomas Wandless, Passaic burglar, is Boston's own Charles Howard, the Boston burglar
The Boston Globe discovers that Thomas Wandless, Passaic burglar, is Boston's own Charles Howard, the Boston burglar
11 Dec 1910, Boston Globe: "Auto Burglar" is Chas. Howard - Man Dying at Passaic, NJ Escaped from Charles St. Jail in 1905 - "Chicken Stall" Also Under Arrest is Boston Girl, Police Believe
Thomas Wandless, or Thomas Gilroy, or Hanley or Handel, the burglar who was shot and fatally wounded [snip] is known to the Boston police as Charles Howard...one of the cleverest and most picturesque criminals that has evern been haled before the local bureau of criminal investigations...at first it was believed that the young woman arrested with him was May or Mazie Coyle, the young New York music hall singer who married Howard in the Charles St. jail in this city...but she is not known to the Boston police. She is known as Jean Mitchell or possibly Jean Morrison or Laura Jean Morrison.
[detailed review of his crimes and escape from the Boston jail, his recapture, inheritance and release, his mother's attempts to reform him] 
 
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1910 Dec 12: Thomas Wandless, burglar, is being tube-fed in Passaic hospital
1910 Dec 12: Thomas Wandless, burglar, is being tube-fed in Passaic hospital
Details of his wound; he is not expected to recover; girl accomplice has his watch and money. 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar of New Jersey & Boston - accomplice Jean Mille relates some of their burgling life together
Thomas Wandless, burglar of New Jersey & Boston - accomplice Jean Mille relates some of their burgling life together
The Washington Times, 12 Dec 1910 - Girl Burglar Spy Reforms in a Day - Jean Mille Baffles Passaic Police, Where She Was Discovered When Companion Was Shot, by Going to Church - Relates Her Story
Jean Mille, the girl Raffles and burglar's spy, arrested as the companion of Thomas Wandless alias James Hanley, shot whil attempting to enter a house here when out on bail on a larceny charge, is baffling criminologists.
[details about how the two burglars worked together, how she wants to go home and be a "good girl" now; Wandless is the son of a New York hotel proprietor who died seven years ago. His mother is Mrs. Gustave Berner, of Brooklyn.] 
 
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1910 Dec 13: Thomas Wandless, burglar, would have inherited $80,000
1910 Dec 13: Thomas Wandless, burglar, would have inherited $80,000
or would inherit it if he lives (he is dying in the Passaic hospital) 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar, is cousin to Walter Wandless of Camden, NJ
Thomas Wandless, burglar, is cousin to Walter Wandless of Camden, NJ
Philadelphia Inquirer, 16 Dec 1910
SANTA CLAUS COUSIN HELD AS A BURGLAR
Camden Man's Many Presents Procure His Arrest, Though Release Follows

Although, as the police say, a confessed burglar, Thomas Wandless, now in the Passaic Hospital with a bullet wound in his head, proved a veritable Santa Claus to Walter Wandless, his cousin of 1164 Mechanic street, Camden. As a result, Walter was arrested by order of Prosecutor Scovel on suspicion of knowing something about the doings of Thomas, who, it is said, stole from houses at Collingswood and other places. An investigation, however, absolved Walter from all blame.

For fifteen years Walter had not seen his cousin. When Thomas did make his appearance in company with Jean Mitchell, he was apparently pleased with the reunion. He said he was in a prosperous business and as Walter's family was not in the most affluent circumstances, the new-found cousin announced he would send a Christmas box along. This box made its appearance a few days since. Detectives from the Prosecutor's Office say they found it filled with all sorts of wearing apparel for Walter, his wife, and little one. While they were dancing in glee about the presents, Walter was taken into custody, but later released on nominal bail. It is declared by officers that some of the presents, notably several pair of expensive silk socks, were stolen from a small town near Providence, R.I. Other articles cannot be traced. 
 
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Thomas Wandless, burglar, formerly of Brooklyn and Boston, died in Passaic, New Jersey
Thomas Wandless, burglar, formerly of Brooklyn and Boston, died in Passaic, New Jersey
Boston Globe, 1 Jan 1911: Wandles Dead. The "Dress Suit Burglar" of Passaic, NJ. Jean Mitchell, Girl Accomplice, Pleaded Guilty Saturday. Thomas Wandless alias Kid Howard alias Tom Hanley, known as the "dress suit burglar" who was assisted in his "work" by a pretty girl describing herself as Jean Mitchell, is dead today in St. Mary's hospital in Passaic, NJ, from the wound received when shot while trying to enter the home of Peter A. Tapley at 108 Pennington st, Passaic, on the night of Dec 9. Mrs Burner of 209 Cumberland st, Brooklyn, said to be Wandles' mother, saw him at the hospital early this week and said it was the 4th time she had seen her son in 10 yrs. It was believed until yesterday he would recover. He is alleged to have stolen all the way from here to the Pacific coast. 
 

Linked to Margaret Bennett, Thomas Wandless